Mattias Cape

Mattias Cape

Postdoctoral Research Associate
mcape at

I am a biological oceanographer interested in the way interactions between atmosphere, cryosphere, and ocean impact the biomass, growth, and community composition of phytoplankton. I examine these processes using a combination of ship-based field work, satellite remote-sensing, and lab experiments, taking advantage of new technologies such as the Imaging FlowCytobot and SeaFlow flow cytometers to gain insight into the structure of phytoplankton communities. While I have a particular interest in polar regions, I am currently exploring these research themes in the North Pacific using the wealth of information collected by SeaFlow. I am also interested in science education and experiential learning, taking advantage of opportunities to teach oceanography and field methods with the Sea Education Association.


  • 2014 Ph.D. Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. University of California, San Diego (UCSD), La Jolla, CA. Thesis title: Influence of atmosphere-ice-ocean interactions on phytoplankton along the coastal Antarctic Peninsula
  • 2009 M.S. Oceanography. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, La Jolla, CA
  • 2002 B.A. Applied Mathematics, B.S. Biology: Ecology, Behavior, Evolution. University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Positions Held

  • 2018- Post-Doctoral Research Associate, School of Oceanography, UW
  • 2017-2018 Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Applied Physics Lab, UW
  • 2017,2018,2019 Faculty/Chief Scientist, Oceanography, Sea Education Association (SEA)
  • 2014-2016 Postdoctoral Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • 2006-2008 Staff Research Associate, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Journal Publications

  1. Sanz-Martin, M., M. Vernet, M.R. Cape, E. Mesa Cano, A. Delgado-Huertas, M. Registad, P.F.J. Wassman, C.M. Duarte (submitted), Relationship between Carbon- and Oxygen-based Primary Productivity in the Arctic Ocean, Svalbard Archipelago, Front. Mar. Sci.
  2. Vernet, M., I.H. Ellingsen, L. Seuthe, D. Slagstad, M.R. Cape, P.A. Matrai (submitted), Importance of phytoplankton advection in the Atlantic Water Inflow to the Arctic Ocean, Front. Mar. Sci.
  3. Straneo, F. , David A. Sutherland, Leigh A. Stearns, Ginny Catania, Patrick Heimbach, Twila Moon, Mattias R. Cape, Kristin L. Laidre, David Barber, Soren Rysgaard, Ruth Mottram, Steffen M. Olsen, Mark J. Hopwood, Lorenz Meire (accepted), The case for a sustained Greenland Ice sheet-Ocean Observing System, Front. Mar. Sci.
  4. Cape, M.R., M. Vernet, E.C. Pettit, J. Wellner, M. Truffer, G. Akie, E. Domack, A. Leventer, C.R. Smith, B.A. Huber and the LARISSA Team (accepted), Circumpolar Deep Water impacts glacial meltwater export and coastal biogeochemical cycling along the west Antarctic Peninsula, Front. Mar. Sci., doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00144
  5. Wellner, J.S, T. Scambos, E.W. Domack, M. Vernet, A. Leventer, G. Balco, S. Brachfeld, M.R. Cape, B. Huber, M.L. McCormick, E. Mostley-Thompson, E.C. Pettit, C.R. Smith, M. Truffer, C. Van Dover, K.C. Yoo (2019). The Larsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica (LARISSA): Polar Systems Bound Together, Changing Fast. GSA Today, v. 29, doi:10.1130/GSATG382A.1.
  6. Cape, M. R., Straneo, F., Beaird, N., Bundy, R. M., and Charette, M. A. (2019). Nutrient release to oceans from buoyancy-driven upwelling at Greenland tidewater glaciers. Nature Geoscience 12, 34–39. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0268-4.
  7. Paulsen, M. L., Seuthe, L., Reigstad, M., Larsen, A., Cape, M. R., and Vernet, M. (2018). Asynchronous Accumulation of Organic Carbon and Nitrogen in the Atlantic Gateway to the Arctic Ocean. Front. Mar. Sci. 5, 1259. doi:10.3389/fmars.2018.00416.
  8. Randelhoff, A., Reigstad, M., Chierici, M., Sundfjord, A., Ivanov, V., Cape, M., et al. (2018). Seasonality of the Physical and Biogeochemical Hydrography in the Inflow to the Arctic Ocean Through Fram Strait. Front. Mar. Sci. 5, 3778. doi:10.3389/fmars.2018.00224.
  9. Cape, M. R., M. Vernet, P. Skvarca, S. Marinsek, T. Scambos, and E. Domack (2015), Foehn winds link climate-driven warming to ice shelf evolution in Antarctica, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., doi:10.1002/2015JD023465.
  10. Cape, M.R., M. Vernet, M. Kahru, and G. Spreen (2014), Polynya dynamics drive primary production in the Larsen A and B embayments following ice-shelf collapse, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119, 572–594, doi:10.1002/2013JC009441.
  11. Gutt, J., M.R. Cape, W. Dimmler, L. Fillinger, E. Isla, V. Lieb, T. Lundälv, and C. Pulcher (2013), Shifts in Antarctic megabenthic structure after ice-shelf disintegration in the Larsen area east of the Antarctic Peninsula, Polar Biol, 36(6), 895–906, doi: 10.1007/s00300-013-1315-7.